The Feral Beast: Blue times at the Beeb

It wasn't just the airwaves that turned blue on Monday when Today programme presenter James Naughtie became tongue-tied and mispronounced the surname of the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt; an error quickly repeated by Andrew Marr.

Inside Broadcasting House, the BBC's director-general, Mark Thompson, was so furious he threatened to fire the next person to swear on air. The climate of terror is such that presenters are now stumbling left, right and centre: Start the Week was introduced as "Marr the Week with Andrew Start", and Mike Wooldridge, world affairs editor, took three-and-a-half goes to pronounce the name of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

Grand carousel

Lord Rothermere was living up to his patrician heritage last week. He was spotted at Gatwick, having just jetted back from Barbados. Owner of the Daily Mail he may be, but he was not too grand to refrain from fishing his family's baggage off the luggage carousel, even if he did need a hand with the trolleys.

Star turn

Talk on the floor of The Star is that owner Richard Desmond has finally had enough of the frequency with which the paper is referred to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). So executives have been discussing the possibility of withdrawing The Star from membership of the organisation – a self-policing operation designed to curb the excesses of Fleet Street and thus stave off government regulation. The Star has been brought to the PCC's attention several times this year. It was particularly unhappy with the paper's front-page story about "Muslim-only loos" installed in a shopping centre in Rochdale at taxpayers' expense – because it wasn't true. Talk on the subject has been going on for some weeks, but there is still no announcement.

Royal pressure

The Star's stablemate, the Daily Express, is renowned for its royal scoops. So imagine royal editor Richard Palmer's chagrin when the paper's lawyers caved in to complaints from Buckingham Palace about his story on the Princess Royal (bottom) being snubbed by the government of Mauritius during recent celebrations to mark the island's 200th anniversary. The story was pulled from the Express's website. "I would ask that you give Buckingham Palace short shrift and support me in starting a libel action against Ailsa Anderson, the Queen's press secretary, for effectively calling me a liar," he pleaded in an email sent to the entire Express and Star staff.

Love thine enemies

The BBC knows who its enemies are. Which is why it reserves special treatment for them. Out of 50-odd hacks invited to the corporation's swanky media city in Salford last Thursday for a preview screening of its drama about Eric Morecambe, only three were afforded a tour of the shiny new facilities. Step forward the representatives of the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Times. Is it any coincidence that those three papers are the BBC's fiercest critics?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Urgent Requirement - Central Manchester

£20000 - £23000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Guru Careers: Social Media Executive / SEO Executive

£20 - 25K + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Social Media...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions